Sydney News: Deadline looming for health workers to receive a jab; deliveries impacted after the massive departure of FedEx
Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Deadline for health workers
Today is the deadline for healthcare workers in NSW to receive at least one vaccine against COVID-19.
Under public health orders, they will need to get the second vaccine by the end of November.
NSW Health expects a 97.5% first dose vaccination rate as the mandate comes into effect.
A spokesperson said local health districts are assessing the number of staff on long-term or maternity leave, with medical reasons why they cannot get vaccinated or have recently had COVID, which means that they cannot be vaccinated for another six months.
NSW Health believes staff in these categories may contribute to the 2.5% who have not yet had a vaccine.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard has warned that unvaccinated staff could be made redundant if they do not have a valid exemption.
Deliveries impacted after departure from FedEx
Parcel deliveries across the country could be affected today due to a massive departure of FedEx workers on strike for better job security.
Up to 3,000 FedEx employees have gone on a 24-hour strike at midnight after 97 percent of them voted yes to a march in a recent poll by the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) of the business.
The TWU said the delivery company reported $ 84 billion in revenue in June and was pushing FedEx to put a cap on outside hires.
The strike comes a week after 2,000 employees of Australia Post, StarTrack, also quit their jobs.
Fake dentist warning
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has issued a warning regarding any dental treatment for a Sydney-based man posing as a dentist.
Julian Osorio Munoz provided dental services, such as teeth cleaning, in residential premises in Sydney.
He is not a registered dentist or a registered dental hygienist and has never been registered as a healthcare professional of any kind in Australia, according to the HCCC.
Mr. Osorio Munoz’s personal contact details have been shared with the public via a Facebook group called “Colombianos en Sydney” which aims to reach members of the Colombian-Australian community in Sydney.
The HCCC imposed an interim restraining order on Mr Munoz to prevent him from providing dental services of any kind and said no one, under any circumstances, should ask him for dental treatment.
Schools come home early
Schools in NSW will resume face-to-face learning a week earlier than originally planned, but the NSW High School Principals Council is concerned about the implications of an earlier return.
The decision was signed last night at the NSW crisis cabinet and means the phased return to classrooms will begin on October 18 instead of October 25.
Heads of School Board chairman Craig Petersen said he would have preferred the government to stick to the original reopening date as some teachers may not be fully immunized by October 18.
“The extra week until October 25 would have given us a bit of extra leeway to make sure the staff were vaccinated,” he said.
He said there could be staff shortages due to the fact that some teachers are not yet on double doses and that could mean there are not enough staff to supervise students.
Mr Petersen said that while some workers would like to send their children back to school as soon as possible, others were incredibly worried that their children would return to school environments where social distancing was impossible.
“We have to remember that schools are not like pubs or hairdressers … our larger schools have hundreds of students and hundreds of staff.
“We would like to know that the decision to bring the students back earlier was driven by health advice and not by community concerns or a political opportunity.”
Death rate drops during confinement
The suicide rate in Australia has plummeted, but alcohol deaths have increased in the first year of the pandemic, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed.
Despite unfounded claims by some anti-lockdown groups that stay-at-home orders are causing more suicides, the The latest data from ABS shows that in 2020, the suicide rate was actually less than 12.1 per 100,000 people, compared to 12.9 in 2019.
The death rate for the five leading causes of death (heart disease, dementia, stroke, lung cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease) also fell for the first time since 2008-2009.
Despite fewer deaths from various conditions, alcohol deaths increased 8.3% last year, meaning there were 108 more deaths compared to 2019.
Weekly alcohol sales increased between May 2020 and February 2021 and one in five people reported an increase in their alcohol consumption during the lockdown last year, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.